The Muffin and I are far from perfect parents. Though there was a time that I thought I could be. Not that I would admit such arrogance.
We had been married 10 years when we adopted a tiny Josiah. Troy had been a children's pastor when I first married him. Then a youth pastor and later a senior pastor. I taught kids. We had a lot of time to observe a variety of parenting mistakes.
Some of us need to get a grip. Just being real.
I have learned through my now 13 years of parenting.
Here is one biggie. I don't know everything.
My education and experience didn't prepare me for the ride. I did have the experience of having excellent parents, myself. And the older I've gotten I've come to appreciate them so much more.
This is a tough job!
How do I raise a son who has a heart for God? How can I teach him to be unselfish? To act with integrity? To be self-motivated. I want him to be all these things because it's who he is...not because I require it of him.
Lately, I've come to realize that perhaps I've been a bit of enabler. Josiah is dyslexic. We've had to make quite a few adjustments and accommodations with his homeschooling. He has come to rely on me to keep him on task and on track...and, of course, this has spilled into just our every day life.
How many times do I have to remind him to do his chores (that he is responsible for every single day)? Do I have to keep track of the swim team bag? Is it my responsibility to make sure he leaves the house with everything he needs for the library? And don't get me started about keeping on task in the mornings.
Am I going to send him off to the great big world not knowing how to keep track of his jacket or when to change his underwear? Or am I just waiting until he gets married and I pass of the responsibility to some poor sweetheart of a girl.
I have been blessed to be part of the launch team for a great book. I have shared bits and pieces about it on my personal Facebook page.
It's called " Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent's Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told."
It's written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. They are part of the team that founded the National Center For Biblical Parenting.
Here is a description:
Learn What Internal Motivation is and Howto Develop it in Your Child
You will learn:• How to build a strong conscience to strengthen internal motivation• How faith changes kids in practical, down-to-earth ways• Ways to help self-focused kids think of others• A strategy to help kids who tend to blame, rationalize, or defend •Ways to use consequences for heart change• Specific heart-based strategies to develop responsibility and initiative.
You can see why I wanted to be on this launch team.
Already, I have found such wonderful nuggets to implement. The book is so practical.
I want to share a few things that really stuck in my heart.
There was an example of a mom who videoed her little ones playing Wiffle ball in the backyard. When she played the video back she was astonished and dismayed at the tone of her own voice. It was harsh. She determined that she was going to become more gracious in her speech. It made me think about my own interactions with Josiah. Am I careful with my words? Am I instructing or interacting in a gracious way? Ouch!
The beauty of "Motivating Your Child" is that it just doesn't identify a problem area. It gives me ideas, examples and scripture to get help me along the way. And trust me. I need all the help I can get.
Another section in the book talks about building Responsibility. You should see all the bookmarked spots. Anybody else have a video game obsessed son? My husband and I don't want to see the video game controller became permanently attached to Josiah's hand. We are careful with what kinds of games he plays, but at the same time we want him to be judicious and responsible with his time.
There is an excellent section in the book that talks just about this. We want Josiah to become internally motivated to do what's right. We are encouraged that we can help him do just that.
I could go on and on...there are so many wonderful things in this book that I have been able to put into practice.
Before I leave you, I want to share what I consider the heart of the matter. Being ministers, we have seen the responsibility training of spiritual training left to the church. The church's role is to "equip the saints for the work of the ministry." Our role as Christians is to preach Christ to a lost and dying world. Our role as parents is to pass along the faith. We are to live out our salvation.
The authors spend a good portion of the book helping us understand this and they give us ideas to help us teach that practical Faith. There is even a chapter on leading your child to Christ.
One of my favorite titles in the book is this.... "Your Home is a Discipleship Center."
It's all about Jesus. And relationship.
We am not simply here to train Josiah about how to take care of finances, do his laundry or brush his teeth.
In the book we are also given an opportunity to take a Family Challenge. Read this.
Send your son to church - spiritually feed him for a day.
Live it out at home-spiritually feed him for life.
Taking the Family Challenge means that we become intentional about passing our faith on to our children.
Just this week we started to take a scripture and memorize it. We spend time every day talking about it and reflecting upon it. We talk about how we are seeing it worked out in our own lives.
Our verse this week?
What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul. Mark 8:36
I can't recommend this book enough.
I encourage you to check it out.
Buy the book before January 31, 2015 and you will receive $150 MORE of great stuff.
If you are around tonight (January 29, 2015), I encourage you to stop by the Release Party on Facebook. There is FREE housecleaning being given away!